My shame is ancient, intractable. Shame that I allowed it to happen, that I gave in to the wild, confusing pleasure of sex with him. I remained terrified, frozen in the bond of it, until I wrote a book that added an honest voice to the complexity of childhood sexual abuse.
We cannot let the Penn State case come and go, fade from the front pages, until we learn of the next shocking incident of long-term, cover-up molestation. These situations are happening everywhere we live. On virtually every block of America's city and suburban neighborhoods.
One of the risk factors for becoming a sexual abuser of children is having been victimized yourself. One of my concerns as a clinical psychologist is that our sticking our heads in the sand can perpetuate this cycle.
One of the questions I hear over and over when child sexual abuse comes up is, "Why didn't they tell?" But when I was trying to figure out how to be safe again after my own experience, telling was one of the first options removed from the table. I didn't have anyone to tell.
More than anything, the videos of Penn State students singing fight songs while the list of victims grows is just sad. It's sad for them, it's sad for Paterno, and it's another embarrassment for the education system in this country.
Not one story goes by without calling Paterno 'Coach'. This tragedy is not about a 'Coach'. What some sportscasters, fans, and a small but violent flash mob of students fail to realize is that this story is not about sports.